It is a
quite common practice at the end of church services and other meetings
for those present to address each other, as a final blessing and
valediction, by saying what has become known as ‘ The Grace’…..
grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship
of the Holy Spirit be with you all.”
are drawn from the Book of 2nd Corinthians, actually the 14th
verse of the final chapter.
other words in the English language the word ’ grace ’ has several
different meanings depending on context. ( Obviously we are not
referring to grace as in elegant or refined movement in ballet here )
So what is
meant by grace in the New Testament ? A dictionary definition says that
this grace is …. “The free and unmerited favour of God shown toward
man.” Perhaps the key word here in explaining grace is ‘unmerited‘.
Grace is shown to those who don’t deserve it !
is mainly thought of as a clergyman, preacher, pastor and hymn writer.
However prior to his realization of his need for forgiveness
grace of God he had a well earned reputation for unashamed immorality,
appalling behaviour and blasphemy. He was involved in the slave trade
and a captain of a ship carrying slaves from Africa.
of life and acknowledgement of the saving grace of God through Jesus
came to be summed up in one of his hymns that was to become one of the
favourite and most sung hymns ever written…..
grace ! How sweet the sound
that saved a wretch like me !
I once was lost, but now am found,
was blind but now I see.
that taught my heart to fear,
and grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear
the hour I first believed.
many dangers, toils and snares,
I have already come;
tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,
and grace will lead me home.
so amazing about grace ? ….. This is the title of a book by the popular
author Philip Yancey. In this book, which won an Evangelical Christian
Publishers Association Book of the Year award, Philip explores the
meaning and scope of grace through stories of people’s experiences. He
also suggests the ’condition of ungrace ’ that exists in people’s
individual lives through to international politics. In the
Acknowledgments section at the beginning of the book Philip writes….
‘ I attempt to fathom grace, deal with objections that arise during that
process, and discuss how grace is lived out in a cold flinty world ‘.
amazing about Grace ? by Philip Yancey (£9.99)